Report To Your “Taste of Armageddon” Preview Station

And in case you missed it in our ‘Sneak Peek‘ article, here is a new matte shot of Eminar VII from the new DVD box set.

The remastered “The Taste of Armageddon” airs this weekend, Video Preview courtesy of STARTREK.COM

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One of my favorites. Looking forward to seeing the bean down shot of the city.

i like the previews they put out for the R-TOS episodes. But, at the same time I miss the old previews as well.

Hmm, wonder where my comments went. Nothing controversial about them, just thoughts about the episode…

Dear Eminiar VII —

Just to let you know, our scientists — you know, they’re wildmen — they finished work on that thing. They call it “the button.” Anyhoo, we thought it was silly and all, but we went ahead and pushed it. Make a long story short, you’re all dead. Please feel free to use our booths, if you’re backing up. We’re gonna be busy with this War’s Over party. It’s gonna be great. Thanks again.


Funny how in Futurama the disintigration booths were coin-operated Suicide Booths.

Both the original concept in this episode and even the Futurama scenes freak me out a little bit.

Easily one of my all time favourite episodes.

I like this episode also.

That’s 2 weeks in a row of “we don’t need no stinking 24th century ‘Prime Directive’ if our people are in danger!”

…ya gotta love the 23rd century.

They didn’t bother adding the disruptor blasts. Its a bloody disgrace as I’m 100% convinved Bob Justman and co would have added them if they could have afforded or had the time.

Just watched this HD DVD last night.

Pretty good episode.

Jackson (#8): I think that Kirk’s interpretation of the prime directive states: “Never interfere with an alien culture unless it appears to be different from American culture. If so, go in and change it as you see fit.”

Last night I watched it on my HD DVD player and I enjoyed it so much.

Well, in JIm Kirk’s defence you could argue it wasn’t a Prime Directive violation. The “natural evolution” of these planets had clearly been ended for some time already, (a war lasting *500* years being a clear indication of that). Their war was now not just affecting their own populations but, by means of Vendikar attacking the Enterprise, was now posing a danger to interstellar craft, so they were obviously aware of other warp-capable species.

The real key of the matter was that Kirk was explicitly ordered by the Federation to get a treaty and ideally a safe port in the system, at any cost. Recall that in the teaser Kirk says to Fox he wants to just leave them alone as the P.D. would direct and as their warning message demands. Fox overrules him. So even if it were to be agreed that a Prime Directive violation did occur, it would be the fault of whoever was giving Kirk his orders that month, or Fox himself who’d be in the dock facing a possible rap on the knuckles and an evening in their room without any supper…

(A good question is why was the UFP so desperate? Was the system strageically important? Or did they just fancy sending the obnoxious Ambassador Fox into a interstellar war in the hopes someone might shoot him?)

I always loved it when Ambassador Fox said, “You mean…..we are to be killed?” And Scotty shines in this one.

always one of my favourites this. some great scenes.
spock – ”sir there is a multi legged creature on your shoulder!”
scotty on form in this too!
greg uk


I’ve always felt that Kirk’s “We choose not to kill… today!” speech was one of his best ever in the annals of TREK lore. It’s good, serious stuff, but with JUST ENOUGH Shatner whimsy in it to make you smile at the same time. Could have been a yawner in anyone else’s hands, but Shatner makes that speech shine.

One of my Top 10 favorite episodes.

It’s funny, you know. Whenever these “Prime Directive” episodes come up – and even the ones where it’s not mentioned but obviously being broken (too many to count) I’m always amazed at the controversy it stirs up.

I tend to look at it from a writer’s perspective – and remeber that ST is, above all, a television show – a drama designed to suck you in (hopefully) and create tension.

Quite simply, the Prime Directive is nothing but a fictional obstacle designed to be ignored, broken, skirted, fretted over, or slavishly adhered to as the needs of each story dictate. That’s the only reason for its existence in Star Trek lore. The creators and writers never designed it to be a political or philophical statement (although it masquerades as one – i.e. non-interference in other cultures – viet nam, etc).

It is really just a writer’s tool. Characters need obstacles to overcome and constraints to be penned into – lest their actions become boring. If Kirk and co. REALLY took the Prime Directive seriously, the show would be incredibly boring. They would never get involved in any culture and would be stuck as passive and impotent observers.

By using it as an obstacle for the characters to break, it cretes tension, and as a counter point – using it as something they slavishly adhere to (albeit infrequently) it also creates tension, because it causes our characters to feel helpless.

So the Prime Directive is really no different that “30 seconds of power left or we’re all dead” or “one more hit is all we can take” or “if we break the tholian web, Jim dies” – it’s an intentional barrier for our beloved heroes to overcome.

Anyway, just some thoughts.

#17 bmar

I agree…hence my comment: “ya gotta love the 23rd century”

Although it needs to be upheld once in a while to make the “fretting over ” more meaningful. If they broke the Prime Directive every single time, then it, too, would make for a very boring story…

…such as “the crew is once more in danger due to a civilization’s strange custom — oh well, just ignore the custom again and save the crew, like we always do. Ho hum.”

This is the kind of thought provoking episode that made Star Trek.

This is without a doubt my absolute favorite episode of TOS. After watching all these episodes involving aliens that brag about how highly advanced their civilization is and how we humans are so unworthy of making contact with them, this is finally an episode where Kirk and crew finally encounter an advanced civilization that’s not so superior to us.

Btw to all those who watched the remastered one already, did they change anything at all to the alien weapons?

so…how i that star trek : the next generation HD test coming????

This is one of the only TOS episodes I still enjoy, feels kind of movie like.

#17 bmar

Well said. Once I sober up I might elaborate.

What would Picard or Janeway done in this situation? I can just imagine all the hand wringing action and intense dramatic talking heads around the briefing room. Meanwhile Kirk kicks butt.

That’s why I love TOS.

“Captain, you almost make me believe in luck.”
“Why, Mr. Spock – you almost make me believe in miracles.”

Love the new effects shots in R-TOS.

I like the original effects best though. They feel like they fit better, and you can’t beat classic 1960’s hokeyness.

Love the matte shot. I guess there’s no litter, leaves, flowers, etc. on Eminiar VII.

If I had to report to a disintegration chamber at a moment’s notice I would be less inclined to seek out a trash can. Screw the lawn! I could be dead now but just don’t know it.

#9: They were described as sonic disruptors (high intensity sound waves), so I don’t think there’d be a visible beam. They could have done a distortion effect to show the air being disturbed, I suppose.

On the other hand, how are the disruptors working on the Enterprise outside the atmosphere if they’re “sonic”?

Why couldn’t Harlan have given me a place to live like this. No hobos – and I can wear short skirts to show off my legs.

I watched it on HD-DVD, very nice!

The matte painting looks crystal clear and has people walking around and a monorail transit system moving back and forth. A few nice shots of the Enterprise in orbit, and I think they put aurorae in the planet’s northern regions, seen from orbit (might have been a different episode, though.)

No change to the Eminiari weapons, but the dialogue strongly suggests the hand weapons produce an invisible effect. “Sonic disruptors”, and the impact on the Enterprise is described in decibels. If CBS had created a visible beam, I think they’d have really gotten chewed out over it.

#29- Quiet, you’re dead.

#17-Now just what the heck are you getting at? Are you trying to tell me that this stuff isn’t real??!! But the voices in my head……
I mean, I was…..they…..
Not real?


#31 – Nope, sorry. None of it is real.

Except the Horta…


“If they broke the Prime Directive every single time, then it, too, would make for a very boring story…”

Great point, and the opposite is true as well. TNG took it so seriously at times, the PD was pretty much used to invalidate drama altogether. The episode with the drug dealing planet and the junky planet (wasn’t the actor who played David Merrick in it?) was a good example. “The prime directive says hands off (and drug cartels are good for 80’s capitalism), so we’ll just be on our way…”

That sort of over-investment in narrative devices was what kept TNG highly mediocre alot of the time, methinks.

#17 Bmar, your right on about the Prime directive…!
However I have seen Gene talk in interviews about how he believed in the possibility of
alien life following such a directive…. I enjoyed your points on the writing device that is the PD.
#24. Yea Kirk kicks ass in this one.
There was a reason the Klingons knew of Kirk, ke didn’t back down from any alien…
On Janeway breaking the PD, she did it in more than one Voyager episode, Picard allways had Data to provide him with PD options. I think Riker would break the PD if he wanted too. His transporter duplicate had no probs do that in a Ds9 episode. Sisko would break it if he had too. Sisko was as kick ass as Kirk was. :\
Archer,,,, well there was no Prime Directive.
I sure wish S Backula would have played his character even more reckless than Kirk. He should have been getting into all kinds of trouble at least pre Zindi war and post.

He had a certain amount of creative input in his character. I was expecting to see him screw up so bad on occasion that Starfleet had to adopt a prime directive just to stop Archer from causing trouble. But that didn’t happen….. :

A decade after they made this, the Carter administration was considering the neutron bomb. I would yell at the TV:”Fool, don’t you watch Star Trek!?”

(That was about the time I stopped having friends.)

Eminiar VII War Department
Ministry of Anti-matter Disintegration

To whom it may concern,

It is with great concern that I write to you about a matter most distressing. Two days ago while attending a business conference I was informed that my dwelling had been destroyed in a Vendikan fusion bomb attack. My entire family was home at the time, so I was forced to cut my meetings short and re-arrange my other meetings to that evening so that I could escort my dead family members to the nearest disintegration chamber.

Once inside the chamber building we were greeted by the appalling stench of freshly disintegrated flesh because the air cleansing system was off line. Suffice it to say that my two young children were traumatized by this all consuming odor and began crying. Adding insult to injury, the chamber itself was not functioning at 100% efficiency and was taking 4 times longer than normal to perform its function. In some instances individuals needed to be cycled several times before they were completely disintegrated. My wife claimed she heard one person scream because the power cut off within the first micro-second of anti matter immolation before coming back on and finishing the job.

I complained to the Chief Disintigrist, a Mr. Tentus 5. Mr. 5, in turn laid blame on saboteurs from an orbiting starship. I then asked, no demanded, another appointment so that they could fix the immolation and air cleansing system. I was rudely refused. As you know, all personal communications devises are checked in at the front desk so I was unable to call my office and cancel or re-schedule the appointments. I informed Mr. 5 that I had very important business appointments that evening and that this delay was putting my livelihood in jeopardy. I was again rudely refused a chance to re-schedule the destruction of my family.

I have never been so utterly under-served by government services. This was a failure on every level. If we have reached a point that the killing my wife and children cannot be managed with a modicum of expedience and dignity then I dare say we have reached a new low in our so-called civilized society.


Elkinar 8

You mean we are to be killed?

# 17- The creators and writers never designed it to be a political or philophical statement . So the Prime Directive is really no different that “30 seconds of power left or we’re all dead” or “one more hit is all we can take”…
“34. steve adams –
#17 Bmar, your right on about the Prime directive…!
However I have seen Gene talk in interviews about how he believed in the possibility of alien life following such a directive…”

By and large I do not agree with #17 Bymar, that the Prime Directive is nothing more than a writers tool, no different than than “30 seconds of power left” etc. , just used to increase the drama. It seems quite clear to me that Roddenberry believed in the Prime Directive as part of the larger dynamic of a more enlightened future humanity. I would bet that is why Picard and TNG, also Roddenberry’s creation which is generally even more expressive of his futuristic societal vision, implemented the PD more stringently than in TOS. Yes, it was also used as a dramatic device – to break the Prime Directive is a dramatic conflict- but it is also a philosophical statement from Roddenberry. It is not merely like “30 seconds of power left” or other such technical, but non-philosophical obstacles the characters have to contend with.
I think we live in more cynical, less hopeful times, and dismissing the Prime Directive to nothing more than a writers tool is consistent with that belief. Certainly we are less idealistic today when compared to the 1960’s.
But sometimes when I observe myself thinking this way I take it as a sign that I’m getting old. Perhaps society and I are changing, and both are true.

#36… classic! And all too probable in a civilization so inured to death.


Here we go…

ANAN 7: “Do you realize what you’ve done?!”

KIRK: “Yes, I do. I’ve given you back the horrors of war. The Vendikans will now assume that you’ve broken your agreement and you’re preparing to wage real war with real weapons. They’ll want to do the same, only the next attack they launch will do a lot more than count up numbers in a computer. They’ll destroy cities, devastate your planet! You, of course, will want to retaliate. If I were you, I’d start making bombs.

Yes, Councilman, you have a real war on your hands. You can either wage it with real weapons, or you might consider an alternative… put an end to it. Make peace.”

ANAN 7: “There can be no peace! Don’t you see? We’ve admitted it to ourselves! We’re a killer species! It’s instinctive… it’s the same with you! Your ‘General Order 24!'”

KIRK: “All right. It’s instinctive. The instinct can be fought. We’re human beings, with the blood of a million savage years on our hands. But we can stop it! We can admit that we’re killers, but we’re not going to kill today. That’s all it takes… knowing that we’re not going to kill… today!

Contact Vendikar. I think you’ll find that they’re just as terrified, appalled, horrified as you are, that they’ll do anything to avoid the alternative I’ve given you… peace, or utter destruction.

It’s up to you.”

(Thank you, William Shatner, David Opatoshu and especially Robert Hamner and Gene L. Coon!!!)

Elkinar 8:

We at the Ministry of Citizen Disintegration were most distressed to learn of your family’s experience in reporting to the Disintegration Chamber. Rest assured that Tentus 5 has been properly disciplined for his rudeness during such a sensitive time. While sabotage from an orbiting starship will wreak havoc with our efficiencies in complying with The Treaty between Eminiar VII and Vendikar, it is certainly no excuse for the rudeness that you and your loved ones experienced.

Please be assured that the malfunctions within the Chambers have been completely resolved, and that any future loved ones of yours will be spared the horribly painful, agonizing deaths that your immediate family experienced while performing their final, sacred duty to Eminiar VII. Should you experience any such failures of sensitivity in the future, please direct your comments to this division, the Ministry of Citizen Disintegration, Compliance Department. Or visit us at



Elara 4, Director
Eminiar VII War Department
Ministry of Citizen Disintegration, Compliance Division
Customer Service Division

Oh, I gotta tell ya…..#36+41 are cookin’ tonight!

Reading your exchange was like watching a fencing match!

You guys should take it on the road and charge admission!!

As Q would say, “Oh, you’re good, you’re really, really good!” :)

Mr baIlz im gonna say #36 and #40…

Must have some WGA members out there tonight…

Enterprise still looks and moves like a plastic toy.

#40 was good, if simply because he reminded us of the merit to vintage dialogue from TOS!! :)

I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a favorite of mine, but its a good respectable hour of Trek. Some nice moments in this one.

I just watched this particular episode on HD-DVD and the best part was where Spock tells the guard he has a “multi-legged creature on your shoulder” and then neck-pinches him with the dramatic music kicking in…………..whooo!…..reminded me of when I was young………..good stuff! :)


Harry, I swear, that’s some of the best antiwar dialog ever delivered during the 1960s. Doubly applicable today.

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

This is one great TOS episode.:~
#44 all I can say is watch season 3 and 4.

#42 & 43

I am honored by your praise of my customer-relations skills.

Oh, and by the way, your location was reported destroyed today in the latest attack by Vendikar. Therefore, you are to report to your local Disintegration Chambers at 0800 Friday. Please report 30 minutes ahead of time so that we may process the necessary paperwork.

And be reminded that the consequences for noncompliance are not pretty. Not pretty at all. War is a bitch, after all.

Feedback to



Elara 4, Director
Eminiar VII War Department
Ministry of Citizen Disintegration, Compliance Division
Customer Service Division